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  1. #1
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    comedy script, "The Off Chance"

    Hey everyone, this is a storyline based on a comic that's been in the works for a few years. I thought it'd be interesting to develop the characters more than their comic strip counterparts, as well as the transition from visual to written. It's written like a sitcom, and am still researching methods. Feedback welcome. Hope you enjoy!

    https://hiddenelementsblog.wordpress...e-episode-001/



  2. #2
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    Hi Karma,

    I only read part of the opening but here are my thoughts. There were some funny lines sprinkled throughout, which is a good thing. But overall it's all set-up, revealing the backstory, telling vs. showing and not enough conflict. If you started it in the middle of a scene where's she's being fired or transferred or whatever it its, rather than her just having a conversation about what happened, you could create more conflict and stakes in the moment - i.e. she's trying to convince them to let her keep her job, but keeps saying the wrong thing in an effort to explain/defend herself. Or you could create more stakes and conflict in the scene with Colton. If Colton was actually hiding from her - and she has to be somewhere and she can't leave until she finds him 'cause she has to bring him with her or if it's when they're about to move and he's nowhere to be found. She has no idea where he is - and he calls her (so you can play the scene out via speakerphone) but won't tell her where she is.

    Do you envision this to be a sitcom that's shot in front of an audience like the big bang theory or a one-camera, shot on location and a soundstage like Modern Family? Also who is the protagonist Charlene or Colton, and who is the audience for it? What type of outlet are you developing it for - a broadcast network, cable channel, streaming service like netflix?

    Also I had no idea how old the kid was. You should divulge their ages when you intro the characters.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Rogue Mutt
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    Do you envision this to be a sitcom that's shot in front of an audience like the big bang theory or a one-camera, shot on location and a soundstage like Modern Family?
    I hope it's the latter. I'm so spoiled by animated shows and live action shows like Parks and Recreation and Community that don't use the laugh track that it's hard to watch older shows that use it.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for your input Simon, you gave some strong ideas that I didn't consider. Colton's 11, and Charlene is 30. I guess I didn't want to give too much away, just give an idea of the dynamic between the two of them. Colton is the intended protagonist (as he is in the comics), but I'd like the mother to play more of a role too. Her personality isn't really as defined as her son in the comic, so I've been giving her an interesting history as a semi-reformed social butterfly/party girl. She had a natural proficiency for academia, yet she'd get bored with the "reading, not doing" element and naturally craved excitement (which lead her down a not-so-great path). The dynamic I'm aiming to build with them is that Charlene birthed her son at an early age, and for them to "grow up" together. She's not overly fond of the boy to start off, mostly because he's a smart-ass and she still hasn't grasped the concept of balance between being a teacher and a partier. There's a bit more I tell about their home life in the second "episode" if and when I post it. I'm having fun writing it, and the challenge of structuring the stories. Thanks for reading.

  5. #5
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    I can't comment on script writing, other than to suggest that if you haven't read David Mamet's memo to the staff of the show, The Unit, you might find it helpful.

  6. #6
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    That memo is essential reading. I used to do a lot of script consulting and I would give it to all my clients. I think it can be valuable for novel writers as well.

    Here's a link to the memo: http://movieline.com/2010/03/23/davi...s-of-the-unit/

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarmaExists View Post
    Thanks for your input Simon, you gave some strong ideas that I didn't consider. Colton's 11, and Charlene is 30. I guess I didn't want to give too much away, just give an idea of the dynamic between the two of them. Colton is the intended protagonist (as he is in the comics), but I'd like the mother to play more of a role too. Her personality isn't really as defined as her son in the comic, so I've been giving her an interesting history as a semi-reformed social butterfly/party girl. She had a natural proficiency for academia, yet she'd get bored with the "reading, not doing" element and naturally craved excitement (which lead her down a not-so-great path). The dynamic I'm aiming to build with them is that Charlene birthed her son at an early age, and for them to "grow up" together. She's not overly fond of the boy to start off, mostly because he's a smart-ass and she still hasn't grasped the concept of balance between being a teacher and a partier. There's a bit more I tell about their home life in the second "episode" if and when I post it. I'm having fun writing it, and the challenge of structuring the stories. Thanks for reading.
    When you're looking at what not to give away right away. The age of your characters shouldn't be one of those things - unless they look much much younger or older than they are and that is a twist that comes to light later. I mean the audience is going to see them both in that first scene so they'll no their approximate ages. You need to give the reader that information as well.

    Colton is the protagonist, but are 11 year olds your intended audience? If so then some of your dialogue is not appropriate. If this is for adults, then Charlene's euphemisms are fine.

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